We welcome the re-opening of some non-essential retail services and hairdressers/barbers on 5 April. To help businesses do this safely, our Environmental Health team has five top tips to share.
Top Tip 1- Employees and Risk Assessment
Talk with your staff and review your risk assessments together:
- Ensure everyone is clear on their role and the procedures
- Set up steps to make sure your controls are followed every day. Record what you have done to monitor that.
- Do you need work cohorts (bubbles)?
- Make sure everyone can get to work and return home safely.
Top Tip 2 – Utility Services
Utility services (e.g. gas, electricity or water supplies) must be safe before re-opening. Water stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing risk of Legionnaires Disease. Review your risk assessment and manage Legionella risks before you re-start using:
- the water system.
- air conditioning units.
Top Tip 3 – Ventilation
There must be an adequate supply of fresh air (ventilation) in enclosed areas of your workplace. Identify poorly ventilated areas and get more air circulating by:
- Natural ventilation – open windows, doors (excluding fire doors), and air vents.
- Mechanical ventilation – use fans and ducts to bring in air from outside.
- A combination of both.
Top Tip 4 – Hand hygiene and Cleaning
Provide enough alcohol-based hand gel stations throughout the business so that employees can clean their hands throughout the day, and customers can clean their hands.
Design a cleaning schedule and train staff in putting it into practice. Include:
- Work areas, staff rooms and canteens.
- Frequent touch points (door handles, trollies, baskets, handheld devices etc).
Ensure these areas are cleaned and disinfected during the workday.
Top Tip 5 – Prepare for Physical Distancing
You are required to keep a 2-metre physical distance between all persons to minimise COVID-19 transmission. Remember to identify pinch points and busy areas.
Consider how you will:
- Limit customer numbers into shop at one time.
- Manage queues inside and outdoors e.g. 2m interval floor marking.
- Mark 2m intervals on the floor inside.
- Introduce safe routes i.e. One-way systems.
- Remind customers of physical distancing i.e. tannoy announcements or taped messages.
- Highlight pinch points and busy areas with signs to remind about physical distancing.
- Put up a screen at service counters.
- Stagger start times, finish times and breaks.
For more information on re-opening specific sectors, please visit the Scottish Government website for guidance.
The council website also has general information on opening businesses safely.